The Heartwarming Reason This Costco Bill Is Over $100,000

This year saw the 7th Annual Bull City Foodraiser for students in Durham, North Carolina, and with it, one of the highest bills ever accrued at the Costco where it happened. As the GoFundMe page for this year's Foodraiser explains, the initiative started in 2015 when a teacher at Eastway Elementary School wanted to ensure students wouldn't have to go hungry over the two weeks of winter break. Since then, it occurred again and again and grew bigger over time.

How big did the fundraiser get in 2021? T. Greg Doucette, the person who organized the effort, noted in a Twitter thread that the resulting Costco "receipt is longer than my notepad." The cost of the shopping list broke $100,000, reaching a grand total of $103,079.70. Doucette triumphantly shared, "We have confirmation this is the single largest transaction ever at this particular Costco location."

That transaction included over $11,000 for Jif creamy peanut butter and another $13,000 for the crunchy version. In a different Twitter post, Doucette said 7.65 tons of the legume spread had been ordered, though it's unclear if that's the final tally. Jif was joined by just under $10,000 worth of Lucky Charms and just under $4,000 worth of apple sauce. According to @greg_doucette, a total of 5,103 students benefited from this initiative. However, as each kid receives their own, he could not provide a family count.

Some people found the food tax more surprising than the price tag

Somehow, news of the fundraiser found its way onto the Costco subreddit. A series of images showed pallets of food piled in a gymnasium as well as the cost of the food. Some users joked about including Costco foodcourt staples such as churros and the brand's beloved hot dog-and-soda combo. Another person with food-couurt brain wrote, "At first I thought you did this at the food court."

However, some people zeroed in on the "tax due" at checkout. One commenter incredulously asked, "NC has sales tax on food?" Indeed. In addition to the $100,000 spent on food, Costco charged $2,021.17 in taxes. The response to that surprise was more surprise from the other side: "There are states that don't tax food?! Wow lucky butts lol." According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 32 states and Washington D.C. charge a food tax. Most of these are in the Southeast and Midwest and typically range between 2% and 8%.

But after Doucette had already paid $100,000 the additional 2,000 probably went by unnoticed. And some commenters noticed the bottom line. As one person put it, "Seriously though, this is amazing. So many kids would benefit from generosity like this."